The Carolina Panthers have been the luckiest team in the NFL this season

The Carolina Panthers’ undefeated run came to an end on Sunday with a loss to the Atlanta Falcons. However, the more surprising thing is probably that it lasted this long.

Based on the points the Panthers’ have scored and the points they have allowed*, they have won about three more games than the average team wins with a similar point differential. This is not to say the Panthers are a bad team. Rather, they have played more like an 11- or 12-win team than a 14- or 15-win team and are either better at winning close games than most good teams or have caught a few more breaks.

No other team has more than 1.6 wins more than expected. At the other end, no team has been unluckier than the San Diego Chargers, who have played more like a 6-win team than the 4-11 record they have.

* Using the difference between the number of points scored and the number of points given up, we calculated each team’s Pythagorean Win Percentage which tells us how many games a team typically wins based on their point differential. Teams not in the chart have an actual win total within 0.6 of their expected win total.

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